Help, My Narcissistic Mother-in-Law Hates Me!

by Michelle Piper

Help, my narcissistic mother-in-law hates me, is one request sent often to this blog.

There’s the age old cliche that’s used as a break-up line, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Well, when it comes to narcissistic mother-in-laws, it holds true as well. It’s not you. Really. It’s her 110%.

Of course, she’ll never admit she’s the one who is at fault for the problems and friction between the two of you. Regardless, you are not the one responsible for the hatred she has bestowed upon you.

First thing you need to know is you’re unlikely to change how your narcissistic mother-in-law feels about you, no matter how hard you try or how nice you are to her. If she hates you, it’s due to her own objectification of you.

She sees you as something in between her and what she wants. An obstacle. Your efforts will be wasted in the attempts to gain the approval of your spouse’s narcissistic mother.

You may not have realized, at first, that your mother-in-law was a narcissist. This is because they may wait until after you and your spouse are married to unleash their cruel and manipulative ways. Their true colors often come out after the wedding and this is when you might truly realize the bizzarre situation you are in.

With any relationship, there comes familial baggage. But, this probably isn’t what you had in mind. Healthy people often haven’t been exposed to chronic narcissistic behavior when they were young and thus are unlikely to recognize it or defend against it at first.

Narcissistic mothers-in-law will blame and attack you for everything, even things you haven’t done. She’ll project onto you the things she does and says so she doesn’t have to be at fault. This can make you doubt your own sanity from time to time, and make you believe it is your fault for setting her off. Exhausting? You bet. It is enough to make you want to avoid her at all costs.

A narcissistic mother-in-law has the reputation for hurting those in her path of destruction, like a tornado, leaving chaos and madness along the way. Narcissists thrive on the drama they create, which gives them the attention and narcissistic supply they are always craving more of.

A narcissistic mother-in-law is not above using your children or “her grandchildren” as a way to regain entry into your family. Unfortunately, her emotional abuse will eventually come out on them as well if she is allowed access.

Narcissistic mother-in-laws will often use any means at their disposal, including religious beliefs to try to guilt you or your spouse into tolerating an unhealthy relationship with you, a tactic called spiritual or religious abuse.

It may be your narcissistic mother-in-law’s goal to create turmoil and anger in your relationship with your spouse. She is chronically jealous of others, and she is especially jealous of you and the relationship you have with your partner. Don’t let her jealousy get to you or make you do anything you may regret.

What can you do when a narcissitic mother-in-law hates you? Do you waste all of your time and effort to try to get on her good side, make her like you, or at least be polite to you?

It simply is not prudent to spend your energy this way and make yourself vulnerable. So here’s what you can do:

Keep your narcissistic mother-in-law at arm’s length. Don’t let her get too close to you or your personal and family business. Recognize how it makes you feel and affects you when she tries to reign in on your territory. Learn to skillfully interact with her, when and if you must, so you don’t give her any unnecessary information.

Try not to be alone with her for too long, or at all, for that matter. When she has you cornered, she’ll try to control and manipulate you. If you have to be around her, make sure to stick with the group and have reinforcements.

Don’t divulge information to your narcissistic mother-in-law about your relationship with your spouse or children. It will only come back to bite you if you allow her to know if anything is going wrong or if you are frustrated about something. Share this information with people you trust in your support system instead of your narcissistic mother-in-law.

Sadly, even good news often can’t be shared because any information given to a narcissist can fuel attempts to manipulate.

Don’t let her comments and snide remarks get to you, which is exactly what she wants. She wants to get a rise out of you so she can play victim. Show no emotion when she takes hurtful digs at you, her actions speak for themselves.

Stand firm on your rules and boundaries. Protect yourself and your family from the toxic harm of your narcissistic mother-in-law.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

DonnaV February 18, 2013 at 7:11 am

This is very helpful advice not only for someone with a NMIL but also a narcissistic parent. Learning how to establish and protect your boundaries and your self-esteem, and to rise above and not feed into the madness, is key to holding on to your family and your sanity. No matter how many times I read iterations of this kind of advice, not matter how many times I read about the narcissist’s bag of tricks, I always learn something. I am grateful for this blog.

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CEE February 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thank you so very much for the advice and insight. I’m recently coming to terms with the fact that my MIL displays behaviors consist with chronic narcissism. It’s somewhat of a relief to have an explanation and better understanding for her inappropriate actions, not to mention coming to the realization that it’s not all me as she and some the family have proclaimed for years. I love my husband dearly and want to be supportive of him; however I now understand that we really do have an issue in our hands. The most difficult part is that most of the family seems to fuel her dysfunction by justifying her inappropriate actions/behaviors. Hoping that God willing I will obtain some clarity as to developing a useful strategy to aide in our future interactions.

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Sheila February 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I always remember that there are other MIL’s out there who would truly love to have me as their DIL. Unfortunately, I ended up with a MIL who didn’t like me from day one. My MIL may’ve been hateful towards me but I never understood in the early years of knowing her that she was probably just as hateful towards things about herself, her life, etc. so she was mean to me in order to feel better about herself & her own life. I’m sure my DH’s mom would’ve preferred someone in her son’s life she could control. I had a mind of my own from the beginning & MIL probably disliked me more because of it. My MIL often thought when I did my own thing, I was being “disrespectful” towards her (which I would be reprimanded for). Nope. I was an adult & she was not my mother, my boss or even my friend. She had no business assuming she could always tell me what to do, how to do it, etc. & then reprimand me on top of it all. One time I even told her “stop telling me what to do all the time” but of course, I was not to speak my mind with her. In my mind, she was just a bully who wanted things done her way or it was the wrong way. These days, I now realize I was just in her way of achieving what she wanted…(thanks Michelle for writing that statement in your words. It was very powerful to read). I only wish I knew all this stuff 20 plus years ago when I kept expecting my MIL would snap out of her negative attitude & see me for the kind & caring person I really am. There really was no reason to be so mean to me.

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nikki February 24, 2013 at 12:30 am

This describes my MIL to a tee. Of course, she has made herself the victim so all of my hubby’s family hates me. They blame me for the way things are and could never see her as the one at fault. I am over it.

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Penelope August 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

nikki,

It is not worth worrying about it! They think she is this poor fragile doll who is the victim of the world. Oscar nominees? Lol. I felt horrible about it but I was able to keep her at a distance. Narcissist have patterns. For example, My mil calls me to help her and says how good I am, blah blah but as soon as I am not helpful to her, she treats me like crap and threatens me she will tell everyone I do not want to help her and stuff. Funny thing is I spend hours doing research for her and it is never enough for her and she complains about me. I just do not call her unless something happens or if they really need help. Otherwise I do not care. I did not buy her BS and she realized it. I just simply ignore her attacks and change the subject.

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Di March 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I’m pretty sure my NMIL hates me, but it’s hard to tell. To my face, she is usually overtly friendly. She has tried to be a close friend, mother figure, etc. But, I have learned, her friendly advances are just a sugar-coated method of control. You are spot on when pointing out that even good news can come back to bite you. Thankfully, my husband has no tolerance for her manipulation, so I’m not stuck between the two of them. That’s not for her lack of trying. I was raised by a narcissistic father myself, and I guess she must sense that this makes me an easy target. For the first several years of our marriage, she would communicate with me instead of her own son, knowing that I was the weaker of the two. I played “good cop” because I am a people pleaser and I felt somewhat sorry for her. Then, last year, it all came to blows. I confronted her by e-mail. She never responded, but she sent my NSIL (her golden child) after me. Since then, my husband has been in charge of all communication with his family. It is wonderful! I wish I would have let him take over sooner instead of trying to make nice with them.

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K March 10, 2013 at 11:22 am

You guys have saved my sanity, the definition of a narcissistic mother is my MIL to a TEE. I could scarcely believe that there are others out there like this because it was a full on description of her! It’s even a running joke in the family that my DH is the “Golden Child” even before I ever knew the definition of the term here. You are so right though, boundaries, not getting cornered (which my nmil loves to do) and don’t let any info slip – that’s the way to go.

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CP March 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm

This is brilliant. Thank you.

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Pipiwai March 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Wow …some of this looks so familiar. When I was coming to terms with leaving the relationship I was in because of the interference and how it got to my lost love… I wrote a letter to her and brought up so many of these issues… I even used ‘Monster-in-Law’ as an example… I mentioned the thing about her mother acted like I was in competition with her, that her mother has no accountability for her actions (unless they reflect fondly on her) …I wish she and could have got some counselling back then, I took it all to heart, and still do …I blamed myself a lot … It was hard to make sense, our relationship would move along, we’d grow, keep falling for each other, and then the floor would drop… just out of the blue my partner would just change after a phone call from her mom …it was a nightmare ….and my ex is on total denial… from what I know she went into a relationship with someone she wasn’t attracted to, but I know her mother approved… and then the last I heard is she got into substance abuse…

I think the relationship she and I had was both a symbol of who she purely was, and the issue with her mother …and her father was a complete facilitator of the mother’s hatred. He is actually the one I had the biggest issue with… I knew her mother’s background, I had a lot of understanding and sympathy for her… but she is full of hatred. I think her daughter is too now. It’s horrible to see someone become someone they are not.

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jazzi April 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

Does any one else have the problem that I have???
My spouse doesnt see that BOTH of his parents appear to be narcissitic.
I have pointed things out but he doesnt see it. It is his normal and he is defending them. He is not narcissistic. They control him. He doesnt see it. We have been together/married for 20 years. His parents live in the same town as us. Moving for us or them is not a strong option because of our jobs.
It wouldnt be so bad, but we have children that are thrown in the mix now. He is demanding that they spend time with our daughters, unsupervised – only because they are demanding it and controlling him into thinking this. I have held my ground the past 10 years, however it is becoming more and more difficult.
PLEASE HELP !! I need suggestions on how to help my husband see their diagnosis. i love my husband and i can deal with his parents, it is when it involves our children, that i get sick to my stomach and have anxiety.

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Meg April 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Get him into counseling. Tell him it’s for you if that will make it easier. If you are having high levels of anxiety over this then you will benefit too. A lot of times my husband will listen to a counselor rather than me. I figure that as long as he is getting the point, it’s all good.

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Penelope August 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Lucky you!
My husband would not see a counselor ( his mother’s mandate of course) so he says she is that way because she did not finish high school. I only told my husband the “stupid” comments, not the hard core stuff. He would not believe me.
Jazzi, is there someone in the family who knows how she is? I would definitely approach her/him.

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libby April 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

This was very helpful advice. My MIL has been causing troubles ever since before I got married to my husband. She made sure at every point that she was in full control of how things will proceed. Apart from being a narcissist she is a full blown control freak who creates maximum drama when things don’t go her way or when she needs attention. She has little consideration for other peoples problems and she thinks everyone especially me is at her mercy. I refused to abide by her stupid rules and boy, she made sure she played the victim to the hilt. I used to think I can get along with her, but its really impossible to do so and I even thought something was wrong with me and I dont know how to maintain relationships. But sometimes people like playing who’s the boss especially when it comes to their daughter in laws. She is very possesive about my husband and even though she has 4 kids , she is always obsessing about him. She calls him daily and goes crazy if he doesnt call her. I love my husband but I dont want to waste my time dealing with that crazy woman. Even her daughter has the same attitude , she plays victim when it comes to her husbands family but she is always chiding me , at first I used to get irritated , but later I understood its their problem and their way of showing their importance , clearly they are riddled with extreme insecurity and jealousy. So, I have decided not to get affected by their bad behaviour nor react to it in any ways, and no divulging any kind of personal information given their curiousity.

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PS April 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm

OMG – were you a fly on the wall in my mother-in-law’s house?! You have nailed it on the head!

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Jackie April 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm

So glad i found this page , my mil is driving me crazy, she’s very controlling and my husband WAS totally brainwashed by her and he just couldn’t see it, i tried to tell him on numerous occasions about her snide ,nasty,bitchy comments to me and the way she would use him but he would defend her, i felt like pulling my hair out and my boyfriend (now husband) was afraid to go anywhere or do anything with me without asking her along. She would take his things like she was just entitled to whatever she wanted, she had a key to our house which i hated but he was too afraid to ask her for the key back,( i’ve changed the locks), she would take up as much of his time as she possibly could, the list goes on but i would end up writing a book if i went into detail. Anyway we got married almost 2 years ago and we went away on our own to get wed because of her and to cut a long story short someone asked how married life was treating us and her face changed to pure rage and it was my husband who noticed it, he couldn’t believe it and that evening he actually apologised to me for not believing me and after that he noticed the way she was acting which gradually got worse and worse, now fast forward to present day and all hell has broken loose, she’s tried to defraud my hubby and now she’s playing the victim and its all my fault, in fact in her words “that f***ing bitch has caused all of this” and i swear i’ve not done a thing except marry her son but what is really making me reach boiling point is the fact that people believe her, she’s got her public lovely lady act down to a tee and i feel like shouting from the rooftops what she’s done what she’s really like behind closed doors, one consolation is though, BIL rang my hubby and it turns out she’s been playing games with him and his wife too but to a lesser extent because of distance but at least they believe us and understand what we’re going through, she hasn’t spoken to them for over a year or their children who are only toddlers, the other two BIL’s ( who are not married) have stood by her but not even asked to listen to our side of events. Basically if i had to sum her up in one word it would be evil.

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Tatum April 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

So my husband is the son of a narc mother, and she has her claws into his younger sister pretty good. She has facilitated the bad relationship between my husband and his two siblings. She is getting married next month, and she sent the invitation. On the outer envelope, she wrote To (insert hubby’s name here) and Family.
However, on the inner envelope, the actual invitation, she only wrote my hubby’s name. She excluded both my name and my son’s name. I am so over their mistreatment of me. She is a total bully and because my husband and I stood up to her narcissistic behavior, we have been essentially banished from the family. I didn’t plan on attending the wedding anyhow, but it’s really sad how this woman has fostered negativity among her children..to the point that I wasn’t invited to the wedding.

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Maggie April 13, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Tatum, I am also in the harassment using the mail club of my mil. Needless to say, I have received the same mail; however it was forwarded to her by means of an uncle, on my hubby’s side. He and wife had lost our address. The envelope was addressed to my hubby, scotched taped on the back. I got the hint; however I pick up all the mail and open it anyway.

This one I didn’t. When I gave to him, he was so stressed out, anything that comes from his mommie dearest, he knows right away what’s behind it. He opened it, then started to tell me what was in it. I said, nope, I don’t want to know, he opened it with an envelope opener, never noticed there was another envelope inside.

He threw it in the trash. I took it out and said, no I want this for my records. Either you address it or I am going to get real legal with your mom. Its getting old!!! I took it out and noticed there was something else in it. When I did, there was the initial invitation to Mr. & Mrs from his uncle. lol Shes nuts! She re-routed it, and sent it just to him? Now what would you think if you were me? He called her on it!

Her gaslighting response was, I apologize, I didn’t do it intentionally according to him.. lol I started laughing, this lady is really a comedian. He told her that she treated me like I didn’t exist and that not to send anything to our household like that again that I was his wife. Gee 20 plus years later, you think she would know that. Why of course she does, she just can’t get him to dump me? I have not done anything to her. I have always been kind, but it kills her?

Shes still trying to get him to hopefully, gaslight him into believing I don’t either exist. I told him, no she didn’t do it intentionally, she did it deliberately. His other puppet brother was at her house when he called and of course he joined the she didn’t do it intentionally club. He had too, she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Thank God she never had a daughter. Shes too competitive with all the women in her son’s lives. Especially me. She never passed her GED, but still retired with a pretty good job. Inadequate persons, do this stuff to make others feel worse than they do.

My hubby refuses to attend any more family gatherings. They still call him only. Ask him to go? What can I say. I don’t talk to the woman, best thing I could have ever done. :-)
Stay strong and stand your ground. I do!!

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nikki April 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

It is so fascinating how all of our stories mirror each other. This is not a coincidence! She sounds just like my mother in law. My MIL is training her daughter to be just like her. It is disgusting. You are right. The best thing is to just stay away. Its for our own sanity!

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Maggie April 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Nikki, by the way, my mother was very narcissistic also. I didn’t come out like her, I call myself my father’s daughter. The training you speak of, is a choice. If shes training her and she chooses to be like her, then shes mentored a mental case. My son once told me, ” Mom were a product of our parents.” I said really, you think so? Okay I said, I told you along time ago if I started acting like your grandma to smack me! He said, ” What mom, I can’t do that! He said anyway, your just like grandpa, not your mom.

My father was a peaceful man, alot, and I do mean alot of wisdom. Always told me to do what makes me happy that not everyone is going to be the same. I leaned towards him, due to the mere fact as I was growing up he would jam my mother for picking on me. He would tell her, that she was always on me!!

Yes I was my mother’s scape goat. I never resented her, I pitied her, like I do my Mil. I can live and let live, I am able to wish good to others, assist others excel, I don’t have a hateful, bitter bone in my body. Sadly these people do.

As to your sister in law, however old she is, I was able to help others learn the difference also, growing up. You would be surprised how you can help another young adult know that when things are negative, not to repeat them. Its not a healthy comfort zone. I was a daddy’s girl, I was hated for it, yet I am the youngest and the most responsible. Its the gospel’s truth. Karma is alive and well. Yet my mother left me the trustee for her property after passing away? Doesn’t make sense does it? Sometimes I feel it was another way to control my life even after he passing? Don’t know. But Nikki you got the picture. I stay strong to my self-esteem and nobody’s going to change that!

If we all know better, there is no excuse for seeking the sanity we all deserve. Jealousy is so ugly and it destroys relationships. I love my daughter in law, my son loves her. She saved his life when he had a heart attack a year ago. How could I not love her. Look at the good in people, mother in laws. Quit trying to control your kids lives for your own self-gratification. You gave them life, let them live it, or did you?

See thats the twisted evil. Were all going to get old, and our kids don’t have to take care of us. I can’t stand my mil, shes so toxic and manipulative, always about her, no regard for anyone’s life. I pity her. Don’t miss anything about her, whats there to miss? Misery….Not in this life time!!

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Maggie April 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Well, its almost our wedding anniversary, and I know she has struck again. My hubby is playing games. By the way for the last almost 23 years, my NMIL has been adamant that its on May 5, its on May 2. Even that is something she dictates as in the date also. Its another story that started on April 27th. I will tell you that this stuff is an inherited trait, if the offspring feels its worked to get what they want.

Hes already ruined it again this year, but when time gets near she phone calls him on his cell, to remind him that shes more important. I know the steps as the behavior depicts itself. I am done!!! I think I really need to make some ultimate changes for myself. The stress is not worth it. He wants to go out tomorrow suddenly for it, cause he has to work on the 2nd? Its always about him. I didn’t know that till today.

The family tradition, so now our anniversary per him just changed to tomorrow, because he said, hes working on the 2nd? I am really not in the mood period! New news to me. lol

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Maggie April 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Oh and if he would have been off on the 2nd, it would have been something else. But according to his mommie dearest its really the 5th? I can’t breath at times, it is so draining and just not worth it to me anymore. Hes severed ties with her? No he hasn’t. I never told him to anyway, not my call. But she still controls our life through him. He denies it? So what do you gals think?

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Maggie May 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Well, well, ladies, I just received a dozen red roses for our anniversary. I guess what I told him registered. If his mom knew about the roses, she would say, gee you never give me roses..lol OMG, what a nutcase.

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Michelle Piper May 3, 2013 at 10:19 am

Hi Maggie,
Glad to see you received some beautiful flowers from your husband. You’re clearly a giving person and I’m happy for you.
Michelle Piper, MS, LMFT

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Maggie May 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Thank you Michele, I look forward to your responses and input.

Maggie…:)

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HK July 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Lol, this almost made me spit out the water I was drinking. First of all, I am glad your dh got your roses. However, I had a VERY similar experience with my husband and that’s what I found so funny about your post. On our first wedding anniversary, he very thoughtfully went out to amish country and picked out a beautiful wedding ring quilt as a gift for me. Stupid me, excitedly showed it to my mil when she came to visit us at our new apt. I thought that she would share my excitement. Instead, she said, “I never get gifts like this.” She was practically green with envy and noticeably angry about it, which completed dampened the mood and I had to back paddle, quickly put the quilt away and tried to change the subject. I look back now and cannot believe that *I* felt badly, when I had done nothing wrong, in fact, my mil was the one who behaved badly, yet she put me in a position where I felt uncomfortable and had to try to cater to her emotional needs (so typical).

After that I realized that I cannot share ANYTHING with this woman, if it’s bad news, she will use it to make me feel badly, if it is good news, she will pull a, “poor me,” victim act. It’s like you can’t win. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary a couple wks ago and I’ve wisened up significantly, regarding my dealings with my mil. Basically, I avoid her as much as possible, and never engage with her. She is crazy and I am sure that she thinks I am a cold, mean person to her, but she has given me no choice but to deal with her this way. Whatever I say will end up being used as ammunition by her, so it’s better just not to say anything. Most of all, if dh gets me anything nice, I never, EVER let on to her that I got a nice gift from him, she just uses it for her, “poor me” routine.

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Maggie May 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Take that back, she received flowers for Mother’s day from my hubby. He just got the text with a thank you to him. I am sitting right here and when his cell sends a text, it announces who it is. lol I don’t ask, don’t know if he sent it from the both of us or just him. I would hope it would be just him, shes not my mother.

But I say nothing, because hes pretty quiet when it comes to her. ;-)

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Maggie May 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I must share this one with all of you, just when you think hes got it, it still remains denial, fake feelings. He in fact sent his mother flowers aka roses, different colors for Mother’s day. He sent them from the both of us, stating hugs?

Hey Michele, I received red roses for our wedding anniversary, its been a while. Needless to say his mother received roses also, just all a variety of colors. BUT, my sister in law sent me a happy anniversary message. I sent her what I received from my hubby.

I told him I did. I will be a betting person, being that jealous, irrational person his mother is, thats why he sent roses, because he gave me roses. She doesn’t have boundaries, she compares herself to me all the time.

I try and tell him, there is a total difference, even in feelings and love. He knows that, she refuses to get it. But he doesn’t either at times.

People don’t change, and a tiger never changes its stripes. I would never expect any less of him, she is his mother and at times, I think he does reward bad behavior. Thats why she never stops. I at times feel he likes the drama.

She thanked him in a text, same old deal. I don’t exist anyway, my name on the gift is always invisible anyway….:))))))) Too much kid stuff…

I can’t stand the woman!! HUGS!!! OMG this is funny and straight out delusional. I found the confirmation lying on the floor in our office, didn’t know what it was, I was vaccuming. The lies never cease to amaze me.

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Kitty June 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

My MIL has pushed me to the limit. I have been married for 16 years and like the others,did not see it. She “says” family is the most important thing but actions speak louder than words. Did she visit her aged and sick mother out of state (she could well afford to)? NO!! Her job working in a dentist’s office was too important to leave! Did she get along with HER MIL? NO!! Does she speak to any of her siblings? NO!! Did she congratulate me when I got a new job? NO! But she did send me an email stating all the reasons she couldn’t watch our daughter after school (I never was intending to ask her). Does she EVER ask how my job is or how I am? NO! It’s all about her. She can’t even shop for a gift chosen just for me – she recycles gifts I have given to various members of her family. Or I get the exact same item 2 years in a row. And I have gotten about 5 of the same anniversary card – she must buy in bulk. The last straw was this week when for some reason she would not speak to me and was giving me the evil eye. I looked up and she had her arms crossed and STARING at me. And her daughter, my SIL, was doing the same thing! And I say them lean in together to whisper something. My SIL is her minion and does her dirty work. None of them told my daughter congratulations for recently graduating jr. high. After the ceremony they just went outside and stood there, apart from my family. They just stared at us. I really do not know what they were mad about! At our house afterward they left after only an hour and she didn’t hug my daughter – she SHOOK HER HAND!! Can you believe it?!

I need help in dealing with this. My husband does not see it and always deflects off of them a comment about MY family. My family is far from perfect but at least we don’t shun each other. My MIL clearly favors the other two granddaughters. At the oldests recent graduation she was yelling from the stands at her (of course she couldn’t hear her) and I thought she was going to have an O! For holidays and birthdays they give me daughter recycled gifts from the older two. She never spends time with my daughter. When referring to her and my FIL’s anniversary she says “my anniversary” which struck me as odd. I just want to not have anything more to do with her. Last New Years I refused to go to their house (they only live 5 minutes away but we never see them!) and that caused a major rift with my husband and me. JUST.NOT. DOING.IT. Please help!

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Maggie June 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

The shunning part I have gone through also, past tense, I stay away. Needless to say I just received a birthday card from my mil, when she sends a gift its really out of content at times.

On the front is a little boy crying, about 9 months old. Looks just like my hubby when he was a baby. I have seen pictures. I knew it was from her and when picking it up, ironic, no scotch tape on the back, like she sends mail to my hubby when addressing him. Now picture all of this.

Personnally I don’t want anything from her, her sending stuff here is an excuse to cause discord. Anyway, I passed to him, since it is his mother for him to open it. He wouldn’t? But was nervous. He knows her.

So I opened it later to wonder what the heck is this? Maybe she had sent it to the wrong person. I immediately thought of him. When I opened it, it stated quit crying, so its your birthday. She writes my name stating, do you think hes cute? Have a happy birthday, signs her name and love?

Nope I am not confused, its called gaslighting again. I showed it to my hubby, he looks at the front, puzzled himself, to see his reaction. I said, okay what are you thinking? He said, I don’t get the kid crying in front? I said oh neither did I, other than he looks like you when you were a baby in your baby pictures.

He takes a heavy sigh, I said open it, he was hesitant, see all the discord, I started laughing. He opened it and frowned and said, what the heck?

Now as to your mother in law not sending gifts, people with NPD, if they do, its never about really you, its always about them?

See my hubby knows the mail is a tool for the gaslighting also. I disregarded the card and again, prayed to let it go. Bottom line, is I wasn’t crying either.

As to you needing help, you have already figured it out, now to heal, you can shun too. Who needs people like this in anyone’s life. The allie stuff with her daughter is to make you feel bad about what they themself project.

I don’t care about gifts. I prefer myself not to even hear from the lady. BUT she can’t leave well enough alone. So if she wants attention, I’m not giving it to her. I still have not received a thank you for the mother’s day flowers my hubby sent from the both of us. lol

Your hubby should not expect you to take the abuse either. We both stay away, from a distance. Were 12 hours away.

Kitty what your hubby is doing is displacing and diverting the behavior on your family, so he does not have to deal with his. Tell your hubby how you feel. Your feelings are important too. I do all the time. Nobody should be subject to any type of toxic behavior, including him. Your his family now.

Five minutes away and you never see them. From what you just wrote, thats great.

Maggie

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Maggie June 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Oh Kitty, just my point of view, if you decide to be around them again, and they stare at you at whisper, confront them in front of everyone, like the act in front of everyone. Say, is there a problem? Why are you both staring at me? And laugh?

I know its hard, but if they want to act like two catty, little girls who hate on you, maybe want to be you. Confront it and them. I do and did. To have my MIl call my hubby, gaslight again and tell him, that I twist things. lol

Again projection. She twists things, she can’t even send me a birthday card and it be for me? Shes twisted. I have a sister in law just like that too, she fights over being the most important thing to my mil. lol I don’t care. There both two peas in a pot. Shes rude and very insecure.

Narcissists are very insecure. Just my experience. Ask her what happened in her childhood to make her like that or inherit the traits. Trust me, she was treated like she treats others. The sad part, is shes repeating the cycle. If she neglected her mother, she must have taught it. Now shes looking for the same treatment and just might get it. Its called karma. I hope this helps.

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Beth January 4, 2014 at 10:37 am

Wow! So grateful I found this website. I feel validated. THANK YOU!
I have been married for 16 years & I have been dealing with the most Narcy MIL from hell. At our wedding reception she took me aside & said ” I hate you” & two years later, at my BIL wedding, she physically attacked me – jumped on me & shoved me to the ground with her hands around my throat. I spent the last 16 years trying to understand what I did to cause her to hate me & I have even asked her what I did & she would never respond. I now fully understand that her issues are with herself, not me. My husband wrote her off years ago & asked me to do the same… I can finally do that now. :)

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Suzanne July 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I have this passive-aggresive mother-in-law who LIVES with us. She’s a total parasite on our budget and never pays for anything such as us driving her to doctors or to her friend’s houses. She’s always complaining how I am abusive to her and my husband ALWAYS believes her. Everything is all about HER, she’s so precious to herself. She doesn’t help around the house, she just expects to be waited on like a queen and if I don’t jump through the hoops with a smile on my face, she calls up my husband and gets me in trouble. She’s man-crazy and going online looking for men and bringing them to our house. I’m humiliated by her behavior, but my husband believes she is perfect and I’m a piece of garbage. I wish she would find another man an move away forever.

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Maria August 27, 2014 at 8:41 am

Should’ve found this website sooner. I, too, have an NMIL who seems to be getting worse with age. She’s now 86 and with my luck, she’ll out live us all. Dear God. My SIL — her golden child — is her spitting image. They’re both conniving self-absorbed drama queens. The mental image I have of the 2 of them are of harpies. Or snakes. My husband is only now beginning to see that his mother is a full-blown narcissist who’s manipulated him by fear and guilt all his life. He’s finally setting boundaries. I put my life on hold for 6 months when both in-laws fell ill, caring for them, finding them in-home care, visiting them in the hospital, driving them to doctors appointments. Not once has she ever said thank you. After all, it’s her birth right to be attended to. And then, during a family discussion having to do with their wills, my husband asked her to reword a codicil to include me and she imperiously announced, “absolutely not, she’s not family”. I can’t tell you how hurt I was to hear that after having taking care of them while SIL never once came down for a visit or to help out since her job in NY was so ‘stressful’. Since then, the hurt has turned into anger and if I could, I’d never set foot in their house again. Thing is, FIL is a lovely man who’s declining in health and I’m truly fond of him. It’s too bad they’re a package deal. When he goes, I doubt I’ll see much of her. Which thrills me no ends. Bottom line, I cannot stand the sight of the woman. It’s visceral. I see right thru her, she knows it and doesn’t like it. She’s toxic. I’m struggling with letting go of the red hot anger. I have fantasies of throwing her off her 15th floor balcony and waving buh bye as she falls. I need to get to a place where she doesn’t incite ANY emotion other than indifference. And maybe pity. Because it’s sad that anyone could be so miserable and afraid and know that she’s been that way all her life. Thanks for letting me vent. I needed that. And I feel better.

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